Welcome to a new indulgence here on Haunted MTL. Pokémon recently reached the 25th-anniversary milestone of the franchise, and I’ve personally been into it since it started. I remember the adults in my life commenting that it was a silly fad, but here we are 25 years later and it is still going strong.

So, why would I talk about Pokémon here on a horror website? Well, Pokémon is no stranger to the creepy and horrific. A lot of listicles and fun articles exist all over the internet about the creepier aspects of the franchise, and for those who play the games or watch the anime or any number of Pokémon-centric activities, we already know those tropes and Pokédex entries by heart.

This series won’t be a simple explanation of the creepier aspects of the franchise as that’s been done to death. We’re diving a little deeper.

Welcome to Pokémon Horror.

In this series, we’ll be going through the Pokédex entries of every critter in the series, providing a little primer to the monster, and then presenting a flash fiction piece inspired by the Pokédex entry. It should be a lot of fun for Pokémon fans and newbies alike.

National Pokédex #001 – Bulbasaur

The first Pokémon in the series’ “national Pokédex” and arguably one of the most iconic of the franchise is the humble little Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur first appeared way back in 1996’s Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green titles.

The humble little Bulbasaur, what’s so scary about him?

Bulbasaur is the first grass-type critter in the Pokédex but also has the subtype of poison The species, according to the Pokémon Database is the Seed Pokémon which seems fitting, initially. The issue is that the growth on its back seems to be more than a seed at this point. Hell, the name Bulbasaur implies more. But then again I am not a Pokémon scientist. I don’t own a lab coat.

So, with around 30 games in the mainline series, narrowing down a Pokédex entry can be tough, especially because they seem to be so consistent when it comes to certain Pokémon. So for this piece, I have selected the following Pokédex entry from Pokémon LeafGreen:

 A strange seed was planted on its back at birth. The plant sprouts and grows with this POKéMON.

So, let’s jump into our first flash fiction, then, shall we?

“The Passenger”

The Saur, fat and frog-like, stirred in its den, unable to sleep. There had been a tremendous quake that had happened hours earlier and since then, the Saur had been anxious. The pile of dirt and collected reeds where it slept had become disheveled from the shake and every motion in what was once a comfortable den merely amplified how disruptive that quake had been. The Saur huffed and kicked up a cloud of dust, tickling its snout. It sneezed.

More unusual now was a smell. It was unlike anything the Saur had ever encountered and it had wafted in shortly after the quake. The Saur had done its best to ignore it, but there was something sweet in the scent.

The Saur, finally enticed, squeezed out of its den, dug out beneath a rotting log. It followed the sweet scent. Its stomach growled all the while.

The Saur, in a short period of time, arrived at a strange ditch. The earth below was cracked and scorched, and the ground felt warm. In the center of the strange ditch sat the source of the scent: a strange yellow seed.

The Saur sniffed at the air cautiously, wary of an ambush. Certain of its safety, it waddled down the side of the ditch on the warm ground. Approaching the seed, it noticed that it was moving slightly, as though it was breathing. There were also sprouts growing from what seemed to be a tear in the translucent surface. The smell only grew sweeter as the Saur approached.

The strange seed pulsed silently as the Saur approached at took another long series of sniffs along the surface. The smell had grown so enticing now. Cautiously, the Saur had taken a small bite.

The seed was tasteless. The Saur chewed, and chewed, and chewed, but the consistency of the bite of the seed had only grown stickier and stickier. Soon the strange substance had coated the inside of the Saur’s mouth and chewing became more and more difficult. The Saur had started to panic as the substance made it hard to breathe. The Saur’s nostrils flared as it struggled to vomit up the goop, but to no avail. In desperation, the Saur dug its claws into the dirt and swallowed the substance after a struggle.

Alarmed, the Saur fled back to its den. The substance sat heavy in its stomach and as it crested the ridge of the ditch, the Saur noticed a handful of others of its kind approach. It croaked out a hoarse warning, but the others were too entranced by the scent.

The Saur climbed back beneath its log and collapsed. A slight itch occupied its mind, but fatigue eventually led to a frenzied sleep.

After a day or so, the Saur awoke. At first, the heaviness felt seemed like waking from a long sleep. The Saur felt bigger, though. As it shifted it felt dirt displaced from the den above it. Confused, the Saur left the den but struggled to climb out of the hole. Something had happened. Finally, the Saur had dug out enough space from the entrance of the den to pry itself loose. It stumbled now, to a nearby den. All the while it turned its head to catch a glimpse of its back, but only made out a vague shape. All the while a strange itch traveled from the back along to the head.

When the Saur arrived at a nearby den, it saw one of its kind, with a strange bulb growing from its back. The Saur began to understand. In a frenzy, it galloped toward the site of the strange seed. The ditch remained, but the seed had vanished completely. The Saur felt a twinge of anxiety, but the itching from the back, from that bulb, pulsed toward the Saur’s head. In moments, a calm washed over it.

The Saur shuddered. The leafy bulb rattled as well. The Saur decided it was time to eat.

The bulb agreed.

Keep an eye out from our next installment, written by our resident Voodoo Priestess. See you next time.

Gotta catch ’em all.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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